Today we know what no previous generation knew: the history of the universe and of the unfolding of life on Earth. Through the astonishing achievements of natural scientists worldwide, we now have a detailed account of how galaxies and stars, planets and living organisms, human beings and human consciousness came to be.
With this knowledge, the question of what role we play in the 14-billion-year history of the universe imposes itself with greater poignancy than ever before. In asking ourselves how we will tell the story of Earth to our children, we must inevitably consider the role of humanity in its history, and how we connect with the intricate web of life on Earth.
In Journey of the Universe--a multimedia educational project that features a book, film and free online courses--evolutionary philosopher Brian Thomas Swimme and historian of religions Mary Evelyn Tucker provide an elegant, science-based narrative to tell this epic story, leading up to the challenges of our present moment. The authors describe the origins of humans on Earth, how we developed a symbolic consciousness, and how our ability to communicate using symbols make humans a “planetary presence.”
We are now faced with a new dynamic—one where the survival of the species and entire ecosystems depend primarily on human activity, and the choices humans make.
Weaving together the findings of modern science together with enduring wisdom found in the humanistic traditions of the West, Asia, and indigenous peoples, the authors explore cosmic evolution as a profoundly wondrous process based on creativity, connection, and interdependence, and they envision an unprecedented opportunity for the world’s people to address the daunting ecological and social challenges of our times.
Developed over several decades, and inspired by the authors’ long collaboration with Thomas Berry, Journey of the Universe boasts an impressive roster of science advisors including Ursula Goodenough, Craig Kochel, and Terry Deacon.
Journey of the Universe is a multimedia educational project that includes:
1.) The Journey of the Universe: A Story for Our Time Specialization available on Coursera, created by Yale. This is a collection of three Massive Online Open Courses that take students through the scientific and cultural cosmology found throughout Journey of the Universe, as well as deep into its lineage with cultural historian and cosmologist Thomas Berry:
2) The Journey of the Universe Film, winner of the 2012 San Francisco/Northern California Emmy® Award for best documentary. You can watch the trailer for the film above
3) The Journey of the Universe Book, published by Yale University Press. Translated into French, Italian, Spanish, German, Turkish, Chinese, Korean, Indonesian.
4) The Journey of the Universe Conversation Series, a twenty-part educational series integrates the perspectives of the sciences and the humanities into a retelling of our 13.7 billion year story. In a series of one-on-one interviews, scientists, historians, and environmentalists explore the unfolding story of the universe and Earth and the role of the human in responding to our present challenges.